Sunday, 28 October 2012
Foraged and found, a little bit of Noma in London: North Road
Christoffer Hruskova, who has recently moved on from North Road took much inspiration from Noma. North Road's decor is simple and post modern in it's scandanivian design, paired with the unique and adventurous Nordic style of cooking using a myriad of unusual and foraged ingredients.
Having not experienced much in the way of haut scandanivian cuisine I praise North Road if only for it's welcomed and thorough introduction to a style of food I won't experience anywhere short of a trip to Copenhagen.
Each course on the tasting menu was interesting, ingenious and intriguing with lots of raw textures, natural sweeteners and curious smoked and salted flavours.
Our three orderves compliments of the chef were each a work of art on a plate, preparing us for what was to come. Smoked potato filled with fish protein mayonnaise, marinaded quails eggs and pork scratchings to remind us of North Road's British influences. Each of the three mouthfuls were perfect with fierce flavours.
First on the tastings menu was deliciously fresh raw Doeset crab served natural and dressed with apple vinegar. Scottish Lumpfish roe with buttermilk snow, onions and burnt chicken skin. This dish was perhaps the only thing I didn't like about the meal, the buttermilk snow over chilled the dish and added an unsettling texture to the roe, and I personally found the burnt chicken skin bitter. I look at this dish as a brave addition to the menu as its certainly not to everyone's taste.
The heavily smoked native Dorset lobster with raw wild and cultivated vegetables packed a rich, strong smokey flavour. The fresh and smooth melting texture of the lobster was compliemnted perfectly by the crunch of the raw vegetables. This dish was devine and I think I would re-visit North Road just for it. The asparagus three ways with wild garlic and a salted pheasant egg yolk was technically impressive. When pierced the runny egg yolk that had been perfectly detached from it's white mixed with the garlic and pine dressing to create a thick and creamy sauce. To the eye this was one of the more simple dishes, yet one of my favorites.
We were starting to feel like this meal would go on forever, and were more than happy for it to. After a change in wine to accompany a heavier meat we were served the lamb and sweetbreads topped with sea kale. The dish was uncomplicated, resting on the strength of the perfectly cooked lamb.
Each of our four desserts were ingenious. Barley, pine, malt, hay and sea moss were infused together to create concoctions including an edible rock and cotton candy tree with edible soil.
Hruskova took the simplest of flavours and added ingredients you never even thought edible and created flavours unlike any other in a contemporary, delicious and truly memorable meal.